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I'm designing the wires for an event page, with a phased approach. Phase 1 only includes registration and information, prior to the speakers being announced etc. In past years they have used a twitter hashtag conversation box (such as shown below). I feel like its not completely necessary to use in phase 1.

enter image description here

The hashtag conversation box from twitter aggregates tweets using a twitter hashtag and allows you to embed it onto a website

I don't feel it is necessary because it doesn't add a lot to the website. First and foremost the website is not conversational, it is informational; so adding the element just feels like it doesn't have a lot of purpose, once the event is running, the purpose makes sense, but prior to it, I don't feel like it adds all that much.

Pros/cons of it?

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What do you mean by a twitter hashtag conversation box, and why have you used this before? Also, why don't you think it is necessary here? I think we need some details about what you are using this for in this situation. –  JonW Nov 27 '12 at 21:14
    
The hashtag conversation box from twitter aggregates tweets using a twitter hashtag and allows you to embed it onto a website: gyazo.com/2e9f32d16e5ad9c895de459626303cec.png?1354050990 I don't feel its necessary because it doesn't add a lot to the website. First and foremost the website is not conversational, it is informational; so adding the element just feels like it doesn't have a lot of purpose, once the event is running, the purpose makes sense, but prior to it, I don't feel like it adds all that much. –  Kyle Nov 27 '12 at 21:17
    
@Kyle Have you asked your users what they want? –  Benny Skogberg Nov 27 '12 at 21:24
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Kyle, I've taken your screenshot and text and updated your question. Not everyone reads comments against questions, so it's better to keep all the question information within the question itself. –  JonW Nov 27 '12 at 21:26
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

From an user experience point of view, its hard to determine the impact that a large twitter feed has on your event site since you dont want to it be so obtrusive that it distracts users from the actual focus of the site (which might be registering for the event or informing users about the event.)

However from a conversion process, a constant hashtag feed can greatly help in conversions as it informs users about how many people are talking about an event or provides live time information about a feed. This might not seem important now but when you have the event going on, a live twitter feed can help in keeping people informed and engaged.

I would recommend going for it but if you reduce the number of tweets that are shown so that its too intrusive and doesnt take up too much screenspace.

I recommend a simple one like this

enter image description here

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+1 For a great suggestion there. I would add to this by including a conditional page/section displaying the fully fledged twitter feed. i.e On the main site where the importance of information is greater than the feed, use a minified version of the feed as Mervinj suggests. But when an event is live, indicate that a full feed is available. –  Daniel Meade Nov 27 '12 at 22:21
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Not sure about your SEO point though - isn't twitter inserted as an iframe? If so then the content isn't going to be on your site, it's going to be on the host (twitter) so you won't get SEO benefit in that situation. –  JonW Nov 27 '12 at 23:16
    
@JonW just did some more googling and since the feed is pulled in via JS, its actually not on the site.Updated the answer. Sorry about the misinformation. –  Mervin Johnsingh Nov 27 '12 at 23:21
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The actual use for such a component would depend on how the Twitter hashtag is expected to be used. It can be used in a conversation like you and mervinj suggested. However, it can also be used in an informational way. If you look at the content of the sample screenshot, that hashtag is being used to provide news and not participate in a conversation.

Since this website will be for an event, it is likely that both of these uses will be relevant for your site. In the lead up to the event, the organizers will likely want to distribute information about the event. Once the event in underway, the component can be used to display a conversation about the event using the hashtag. The catch with this type of component is that it leaves everything up to the use of the hashtag. That means you might get a conversation (and all the negatives that go along with a public conversation) when you are trying to provide information. The safer bet might be to link the Twitter component to a particular account's Tweets in the information phase. This will allow more control over the message to the website visitors while also providing the "social" aspect that your client appears to want. Then when the event is actually underway, change the Twitter component from one account to a hashtag search.

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